PATNA: Tejashwi Yadav needs a favour. And he needs it from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his former boss whom he has been bitterly targetting right from the moment his party RJD was unceremoniously pushed out of the Bihar government in July.
Faced with the prospect of losing the palatial bungalow that came with the Deputy Chief Minister’s office, Tejashwi Yadav has written a polite note to the chief minister to let him retain the 5, Circular Road bungalow that he stands to lose. Like his chair, to Sushil Kumar Modi.
Last week, Tejashwi Yadav, 27, received notice to vacate the bungalow allotted to him after the rainbow coalition comprising the Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United, Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress came to power in 2015. It was a partnership meant to not just last the assembly’s term of five years but was also seen as the template for other states to keep the BJP out.
It was probably one big reason why, sources told NDTV, why Tejashwi Yadav, then Nitish Kumar’s deputy, carried out major renovations at the bungalow. It also had an enviable location: Chief Minister Kumar is his next door neighbour and his parents, former chief ministers Lalu Yadav and Rabri Devi live just across the road.
But Chief Minister Nitish Kumar forced a political realignment in Bihar in July after he replaced the RJD-Congress combine with the BJP. The Leader of Opposition Sushil Kumar Modi was Nitish Kumar’s new deputy and Tejashwi Yadav, the opposition leader.
As in the government, Tejashwi Yadav was told to swap bungalows with the new Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi who lives a couple of kilometres away.
Mr Modi was allotted the 1, Polo Road bungalow when he first became Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister in 2005 and was allowed to retain the house in 2013 when Nitish Kumar ended his 17-year-old alliance with the BJP and ended up as the opposition leader.
In his letter to the Chief Minister, Tejashwi Yadav has reportedly reminded Nitish Kumar about the exception he had made for Mr Modi and asked that his request to cancel the change in bungalow be accepted.
Sources in the government, however, told NDTV that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar – who Tejashwi Yadav referred to as chacha, or uncle till just a few months back – was unlikely to be entertained as his bungalow had been designated for the Deputy Chief Minister or number two in the cabinet. “If he is allowed to stay in the house, then every former minister will claim waiver too,” a source said.